tv Piers Morgan Tonight CNN January 20, 2012 9:00pm-10:00pm EST
south carolina. thanks for being with us. good citizens of draper, utah, do not fear the cougar. the proud mascot of many schools. [ cheers and applause ] >> that's it for us on "360." see you at 10:00, one hour from now another edition of "360." pe piers morgan starts now. tonight on the eve of the south carolina primary, rick santorum as you have never seen him before. >> how many times have you been properly in love before you met her? >> never. >> never? >> no. >> does he have a prayer of being president? he says he's the only candidate who stands up for values no matter what. >> i will be there fighting for the convictions i have deeply held. >> rick santorum on newt gingrich and mitt romney. >> romney and gingrich were on the wrong side of the issue. >> and how he plans to beat barack obama. >> make the election about barack obama and his policy. it's about him. >> plus, for the first time rick
santorum's wife karen and four of his children join us. >> my two younger boys said you can't run because you won't be able to coach baseball. >> this is the piers morgan interview. starts now. good evening. i'm in charleston, south carolina, 24 hours to go before the crucial south carolina primary. who better to talk to than rick santorum, a man who has just discovered he won the iowa caucuses when everybody thought mitt romney had. he's edging third in south carolina to his advantage or disadvantage rick perry has pulled out leaving four contenders left. welcome. >> thank you very much. call me rick. i'm no longer in the senate. >> you should be thrilled with life, concerned with life or ready to throw in the towel? every one of these things that happened.
>> in the last 24 hours. >> it's a crazy period. how do you feel? >> you know, i'm a slow and steady kind of guy. i don't try to get too high, too low. stay focused on why you're here. that's because you believe you can bring something the country is in need of. you go out and deliver the message and try to make the case that you're the right alternative to barack obama and of course the right person to lead this country which is enough to worry about, to be honest. >> it looks like you won in iowa. if i were you i would be peeved. because of these things are about momentum. it would have made a big difference if you had been declared the winner. it would have definitely given you more momentum, more money coming in. this makes a difference. >> it would have been great had it been eight votes the other bay and confirmed. when an election is that close, the republican party of iowa did a good job, got the election
certified. the vote change was only 40 votes. it was not like a lot of discrepancies in the totals. when the election is that close, these things happen. i'm just happy that before south carolina and before florida, more importantly we have this announcement that we have won and that now it's one for rick santorum. huge upset, coming from behind with no money, just grassroots and good positive message. vision for our country and mitt romney won a race where 53% of the people who voted in the primary weren't republicans in new hampshire. i feel we are coming to south carolina and florida for the next few contests and we have a chance to make the case now that the field has narrowed and eventually end up with a one on one contest with mitt romney. >> rick perry pulled out on thursday. clearly not unexpected entirely. the same way jon huntsman's retirement wasn't unexpected. i expect there is a mad dash to
get hold of governor perry to try to get him to endorse you. what happened? >> there is no mad dash. >> really? >> no. i never called him. my feeling is that's a decision he's going to make. i would have absolutely appreciated his ebb endorsement. i like rick perry. have a great amount of respect for him as a person. karen and i got to know his wife anita and his son griffin. i don't know the rest of his kids but he made a decision as to who he felt comfortable with. i'm sure other people in the state will do so and hopefully make a different decision. >> i heard mitt romney called to congratulate you about winning iowa. >> he did. it was a nice call. i called him when he won new hampshire. he was kind enough to do so here. he said, you know, let's keep going. i look forward to the debate that night and saturday and look
forward to working and wrestling, fighting in florida. >> people say it's insignificant really, the iowa result change. i don't think it is. mitt romney was able to claim 2 for 2. if he won in south carolina it was 3 for 3. say newt gingrich wins south carolina. as all the polls suggest he has a chance of doing. that means a different candidate has won in iowa, new hampshire, south carolina. that's never happened before in paubl race. >> yeah. >> so this gets interesting. >> as i said in new hampshire and also in iowa, game on. this is a two or three-person race at this point. going into florida i'm probably up against bigger odds because of both gingrich and romney. we are raising money. we have done a great job. we started the ad buy in florida. that's two weeks after governor romney started but we're there, competing. again, we think we can compete
in florida and then we have sort of a gap between then and the big super tuesday primaries. that will be an opportunity for us to retool and go at them again. >> who would you rather be up against -- nice newt gingrich or the new nasty newt? >> that's the issue, isn't it? what are you going to get? that's what a lot of folks who worked and served with newt, as i have for 20 years. newt's a friend but what day is it? what sort of new idea or new attack or new retreat that we're going to see. that's really what i sort of sell myself in as a differentiation between the two of us? i'm not the guy you're necessarily going to be wild with any one day. i'm the steady guy. i'll be there saying the same thing, going out there and fighting for the convictions i deeply held that i practiced in
my life and i practiced in what i preach and do in public life. >> if i were to categorize your opponents now for you -- and correct me if i'm wrong. mitt romney the flip-flopper. newt gingrich, temperamenttempe unstable. rick santorum, steady eddie, the real conservative. >> that's a good analysis of the race. the interesting thing is ultimately you want a candidate who's not just steady eddie, but has a vision for the country and one that's deeply held and can be articulated. when the other side comes after us which they will. they'll come after all of us. whoever the nominee is will be the most conservative person ever to run for the presidency after president obama's people go after them. wouldn't it be someone who felt comfortable with that? >> rupert murdoch tweeted that
you were the guy with the big ideas. quite a significant moment i would say that the man who owns fox news almost put his hand on your shoulder. >> i think if you look at our record, our plans, number one, they're consistent. i wasn't for something and changed my mind for something else. i have a solid understanding of american first principles, how america works well and how to solve our problems from the bottom up. i put forward plans and ideas that are based on that. i count to articulate those things. i would say it would be refreshing to have someone who can stand up and without equivocation, full throatedly voice convictions contrary to barack obama. i think with a rick santorum as the nominee, you have a clear contrast but you make the election about barack obama and his policies and not about my inconsistencies, my problems, my statements of this and that.
it's about him. i think that's where republicans want to with when it's said and done. a referendum on the president. i have the best opportunity to do that. >> what's interesting to the neutral observer is the way the tea party faction of the race has all but disappeared here. you're the last man standing that would even be in their wavelength, i would argue. why has that happened? why has such an aggressive, fast-moving, seemingly formidable movement dissipated to the extent that it has? >> it's confounding. the tea party is scattered all over with respect to candidates which i find stunning in the sense that if you look at the two leading candidates, gingrich and romney, there are three issues that started the tea party. obamacare, the government takeover of cap and trade and global warming. of course the wall street bailouts in 2008. those are three things that got conservatives concerned about
the encroachment of government into the lives of people in such a major way. and the two candidatings -- romney and gingrich -- were on the wrong side of the issue for individual mandates, romneycare, for the wall street bailout, sitting on the couch with nancy pelosi on global warming and cap and trade with mitt romney. it is a little bit -- you know, you query whether the movement will stay alive and stand by their principles. >> do you think your trump card is that you have flip-flopped the least and that you are -- whether people agree with you or not, you have been the most true to your principles? >> i certainly make that case that they are borne out of real convictions. i have tried to reflect those convictions in my life. i have been unabashed and courageous, if i can say so, in fighting for those convictions
on everything from national security to more cultural issues to economic to spending and size and scale of government. i have been passionate and been a leader on all of these fronts for a long time. you know, i'm hopeful that, again, as people continue to look at the race and start to focus on the candidates and maybe not on the glib lines or nasty commercials and look at who's the best person from the character point of view and policy point of view that they will come in our direction. >> let's take a break, come back and talk about your character, personality, where you came from. want to get deep down and personal with you, senator santorum. >> you can do that. this is an rc robotic claw. my high school science teacher made me what i am today.
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hands dug freedom for me. >> back with my special guest senator rick santorum. incredibly powerful speech uh you made that night. it was supposed to be the loser's speech. it's now the winner's speech. >> winner. >> tell me about your grandfather. i was moved never having known the man. >> he was a pioneer. everyone has the patriarch or matriarch who blazed the trail. very different from me politically. he was a union member, progressive, i would suggest, democrat. head of the -- treasurer of the union. fought for workers rights. when he came to this country in 1925, worked in the auto factories for a couple years. as he lost his job, ended up in the coal mines in southwestern pennsylvania. he dug coal until he was 72 years old. retired, left the mines in 1958
when i was born. he always talked about the importance of that freedom he wanted to come to america. he was anti-fascist when he left italy. wanted to come here, fight for values. i didn't tell this story. he served -- that part of italy was part of austria and the austrian emperor, he fought on the russian front. >> really? >> in world war 1. i will never forget the story. it was my 40th birthday party which when you're in plix is a wonderful opportunity for a fund-raiser. we had a fund-raiser on my 40th birthday party. a gentleman walked in and said his name to me. he looks at you like you should know me. he said, you don't know the name. i said, no, i'm sorry, sir, where did i meet you before. he said, you have never met me.
i said, what's the name? he said it. he said, is your dad here? yeah, he's here. he walked over, said his name. immediately my dad lights up. gives him a big hug and tells me the story i had never been told before. this man's father was my grandfather's best friend. went off to war with him. one day they came out of the frenchs on the russian front and advanced across the trench lines. when this man's father came back, my grandfather didn't. he sat there until it got dark, crawled out to where they were and found my grandfather, half dead, with a huge chest wound and dragged him back into the fox hole. >> wow. >> and saved his life. >> what an amazing story. >> yeah, pretty cool. >> they were an extraordinary
je generation, weren't they? >> it inspires you to realize the sacrifice that people made and make today. it's why when i think of that story and i think about the men and women today out there fighting and the sacrifices people make every day for their country. in this case my grandfather made it for an emperor. he never wanted to be ruled by an emperor again. wasn't worth the sacrifice. i don't want to be ruled by an emperor in name, in deed. we need to have people who want to fight for our country because we're fighting for them. and their families. >> if you'd been president at 9/11 would you have gone to war in iraq knowing everything you know now? >> it would have been a very hard decision. i said at the time that my greater concern was what was going on in iran, not iraq.
iran was a radical militant theocracy like al qaeda was. saddam hussein is not an islamist, radical hi ji hhadist. he professed to be a good muslim. while there were certainly threats from iraq, they were threats not from the same basis. based on the information i had at the time i think we made the right condition. >> what about everything since? >> it's hard to go back and monday morning quarterback. >> i'm going to keep pushing i. think we are headed toward it. >> all right. when you have tough pain, do you want fast relief?
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back with senator rick santorum. we left with a cliffhanger there where you were mulling over the nuances of -- with all the evidence we now have, would you have gone to war in iraq? >> no question that knowing what we know, i think uh i did the right thing. i'm not rethinking and i want to make it clear. i'm not rethinking my vote on iraq. i stand by that vote. i think it was the right thing to do at the time. >> knowing what we know now -- >> because of iraq. >> you agree with pulling troops
out of iraq. >> well, no. you have to finish the mission to success. >> do you think the mission was finished? >> the mission was partially finished. >> if you become president in november would you put troops back in? >> you can't reintroduce troops into a country where we have left and abandoned the mission. i'm not going to invade iraq again with american troops. >> so the genie is out of the bottle. >> you have to deal with the situation as it is. >> would you be prepared to put boots on the ground in iraq? >> no. >> how you would wow you do it? >> i have laid out a clear road map and stopped short of putting boots on the ground. i don't think that would be wise for the united states to put it on the table. >> but you wouldn't hesitate to bomb iran if you had to? >> absolutely not hesitate. >> what would it take to trigger it? >> if they were on the precipice of, you know, actually being in a position to produce that
nuclear weapon. >> just being on the cusp of being able to produce it you think would be enough to trigger an attack? >> it would because once that weapon is weaponized and completed and exploded then we have a situation where the world has changed. iran is now -- >> that would be a preemptive strike. >> it would be indeed. with a country that's a radical theocracy. they have attacked our embassies, our ships, tried to plan an attack in this country on the saud ambassador. the list is long. >> i have heard you be scathing about barack obama's foreign policy. i have quick yes or no's about what he's done. killing bin laden. >> i would have approved the mission. >> gadhafi taken out? >> again, my feeling on that is that we, number one, acted
indecisive uhly, unwisely, at the behest of international bodies without a national security interest and i would not engaged. >> it worked, didn't it? >> did it? certainly gadhafi is gone. but mubarak is gone. are we happy with egypt now? the imposition already in sharia law and potentially a muslim brotherhood-type operation in libya which would be hostile to the united states more than gadhafi. >> isn't it hard to criticize an american president who didn't lose any american military lives and got rid of gadhafi, by common consent one of the worst dictators of 40 years? is. >> well, no, no, no. absolutely not. there are a lot of horrible dictators around the world. we could go to myanmar, central africa. >> am i right in saying -- >> there are horrible dictators. we shouldn't participate unless there is a national security
interest at stake. i don't believe there was at the time a national security interest. >> by the process of elimination you would have kept gadhafi in power? >> i would only act using the american military if there is a national security interest to our country threatened. as horrible as dictators are, fidel castro is a horrible dictator. i'm not getting involved in a military mission to take him out even though i would like to see him go. >> the role of america has become a global policeman. >> i don't see it that way. >> it's been seen that way. >> but it's not. >> it's not always to america's benefit. if you're the british you think, thank god. >> no one else wants to do it. >> the role is clearly changing. would you like to see america become more insular, stop interfering, as some would argue? >> i just suggested i wouldn't
interfere. >> that's what i mean. would you be happy for china to start doing some of the dirty work of being the global police force? >> i'm not sure the dirty work wouldn't be dirty which is opposed to what we do, standing up for liberty, human rights and for the opportunity of people to have political and economic freedoms. >> do you like barack obama personally? >> i served with him for two years. we had a cordial relationship. we worked on a project together when i was in the senate. we worked on ethics reform. i can't say i was particularly pleased with the way he conducted himself during that from a professional point of view. >> why? >> personally it was cordial. >> what's your main criticism of him as president? >> i think he has a fundamental different view of what makes america a great country. >> what do you think his view is? >> the stronger the government is and the more it can do for people the stronger the country
will be. >> what's your view? >> the less government does and the more free people, free enterprise that america has built the greatest country in the world. >> we'll take a break and come back to imagine life under president santorum. sounds interesting. >> i hope. promising. [ coughing ] [ male announcer ] got a cold? [ sniffling ] [ male announcer ] not sure what to take? now robitussin® makes finding the right relief
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obama supported the wall street bailouts. so did romney. obama gave us radical obamacare that was based on romneycare. obama's a liberal on social issues. romney once bragged he's even more liberal than ted kennedy on social issues. why would we vote for someone who's just like obama? >> back with with gop candidate rick santorum. wonderful attack ad in my hotel room last night. relentless wall to wall abuse. everybody approving attacks on everybody else. >> it's the rough and tumble of politics. i don't have a problem with contrasting your opponent's positions with with your own or with the president as long as they're accurate. as long as they are factual. if they're factual, have at it. >> if you become president the world will be looking to you for an idea of what the new america
will be like under this new president, rick santorum. one of the more divisive issues is your view on socially conservative issues. given your stance on gay marriage, for example, could you see any circumstances where you might change that in a way that you hardened your position on an issue like abortion, could you see yourself potentially softening your position on gay marriage? >> you know, marriage is an institution that existed before governments existed. it's something that reflects nature and reflects god and god's will for us. from the standpoint of faith and reason it makes all the sense in the world. it's beneficial for society. having said that, i think it's important to understand that you respect everyone. you respect their rights and their rights to live their life in the way they want to live. if people want to live together and have benefits and have the
rights to visitation or to property or to houses or whatever it is. >> when you say you respect their rights, isn't their legal right in new york now to get married? >> well, it's a law. it's not a natural right. there are lots of laws that are not rights. i would say it's a privilege. >> would you change the law? >> i would change the law to make a uniform definition of marriage in this country. like the uniform definition of life. >> if you were president you would try and outlaw gay marriage? you would make it illegal to get married? >> well, again, i would reinstitute the traditional marriage as the best -- >> you're talking -- >> it's not new at all. i'm being direct. >> you know why i'm asking this. people are looking at you as a potential president. >> yeah. >> are you going to try to make it illegal for gay people to get married? >> all i would say is that marriage has been voted on 32
times in this country from maine to california and 32 times the people of this country have said that marriage is between a man and a woman and the public should have a say. >> on abortion, you did harden your position on that as you got older. why was that? >> life. you know, when i decided to run for public life i was informed quickly people wanted to know what my position was. i went through the process of trying to better understand the facts. it became clear to me that life begins at conception and persons are covered by the constitution and since human life is the same as a person to me it was a simple deduction to make. that's what the constitution clearly intended to protect. >> do you really -- let me ask you this. do you really believe in every case, it should be totally wrong in the sense that -- i know you believe in cases of rape and ince incest. you have two daughters. if you have a daughter that came
to you who had been raped. >> yeah. >> and was pregnant. and was begging you to let her have an abortion would you look her in the eye and say, no, as her father? >> i would do what every father must do. counsel your daughter to do the right thing. >> it's almost impossibly hypothetical but there will be people in that position and they will share your religious values. >> it's not a matter of religion. >> they are looking at their daughter saying, how can i deal with this? if i make her have this baby isn't it going to ruin her life? >> well, you can make the argument that if she doesn't have this baby, if she kills her child that, too, could ruin her life. this is not an easy choice. i understand that. as horrible as the way that son or daughter was created, it still is her child. whether she has that child or doesn't, it will always be her child. she will always know that.
to embrace and love her and support her and get her through this difficult time, i believe and i think the right approach is to accept this horribly created -- in the sense of rape -- but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life and accept what god has given to you. as you know, we have to in lots of different aspects of life. we have horrible things happen. i can't think of anything more horrible. nevertheless, we have to make the best out of a bad situation. >> how do you equate -- i know that your position and correct me if i'm wrong, is that you believe in the innocence of life. how do you equate that with the death penalty given there are so many people who are completely innocent? >> i have supported mandatory dna testing and we have to be certain. >> we can't be, can we?
>> well -- >> you can't be certain as commander in chief, as the president. if you can't be certain and in fact you know for a fact many innocent people are being killed under this system. you believe in the innocence and sanctity and protection of life isn't the right consistent thing to say, enough. >> i would say when there is certainty and there are occasions when there is certainty. when there is certainty that's the case that capital punishment can be used. if there is not certainty under the law it shouldn't be used. if you do not have certainty then capital punishment should not be available, period. >> i'm going to bring in various members of your family now which is probably a tv first for me. >> a tv first. >> i'm excited about this. i'm phil mickelson, pro golfer. if you have painful, swollen joints, i've been in your shoes. one day i'm on top of the world... the next i'm saying...
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back with senator rick santorum and more importantly with his wife karen. >> thank you, piers. >> he said you were his hero, a blessing and one he didn't deserve. >> that was very nice. thank you. >> very true. >> you also said an interesting thing which is true that as a couple you have been through a hell of a lot. this has not been an easy ride. you lost a child, every parent's
nightmare. you have a young child now with a disability. again, every parent's nightmare. you have had to deal with two huge things and the other t trevails of life. how have you stayed so united, so close? >> a lot of it is a focus on faith and family. i'm blessed with a big family. i'm one of 12 kids with a great mom and dad. they have been married 65 years. they're rock solid. rick's parents were married 56 years before his dad passed away. they were great role models of the ups and downs of life. you go through a rough patch and a lot of us look to our parent and friends for guidance and support. there is no doubt my faith in our lord really helped a lot during those times. >> you have had to fight this campaign with the backdrop of your little girl isabella who is very sick. >> she's disabled, not sick is. she has a condition like down's syndrome, if you will. >> much more severe.
when we got the diagnosis they labeled it incompatible with life, lethal diagnosis. we were led to believe there were no other children out there with trisoma 18 and there are a lot of families out there with these amazing kids. she's so joyful. she's the heart of our family life. we're in the kitchen cook she's with us. the kids are at the piano. playing board games she's in the middle. she just smiles all day. she's a great little girl. really joyful. she's amazing. she has exceeded every expectation and what i wish is that physicians -- and there are so many great ones out there -- would take one issue at a time. not write a child or person with disabilities off and give them no hope but see what the issues are and take it one at a time. >> how did you two meet? >> at the law firm. karen was a neo natal intensive
care nurse and a lawyer. she was being recruited. she was offered a job as a summer associate. she was being recruited because she hadn't accepted the offer. they organized a recruiting trip of some of the junior associates, of which i was one. long story short i wasn't supposed to be in town. talk about an improbable sequence of events which i ended up on the recruiting trip. i recruited her. >> he was hilarious. >> you certainly did. what was it you saw in rick? >> he was so funny the night we met. >> couldn't have been the fashion. >> certainly. >> we didn't talk about the law all night. >> it was fun, light. >> we poured our hearts out to each other. that was it. >> we did. >> what's the biggest misconception about your husband? >> that he's not nice. he's the nicest guy. big heart. i have known and loved rick for if years. he walks through the door and he's a husband, a father. he's on the floor playing with
the kids. he's helping in the kitchen, making a meal. he loves to cook. >> i was raised at home and my mom made more money than my dad. that was unusual in the 1960s. having two professional people working in the home you had to do a lot of things. my dad cooked. and cleaned. my mother could make soup out of a can. that's the way she was. >> tell me this about relationships. you have this amazingly happy marriage in many ways despite tragedy. you have dealt with it and i can see how happy. everyone can see this. when you look at your competitors, i'm sorry to bring it up but you know where i'm going. newt gingrich and his previous marriage problems, people going after him, his ex-wife on television, all that stuff. with rick perry, i believe in redemption and the ability to have people to change.
while it's tempting to let newt wallow in his marital pain, on a human level do you believe people should be allowed to -- >> absolutely. >> become something different? >> absolutely. that's a core part of our faith. >> absolutely. it is. >> infinite love and his mercy. >> yeah. >> that's one of the most beautiful things of our faith. people always -- we all fall. we all make mistakes. >> you say people should lay off him on this one? >> think -- yes. i think -- that's my personal belief. >> in newt gingrich is watching this, would he feel better having you condemn him or forgive him? >> it's not my role to forgive. >> i'm kidding. >> it's my role to, you know, try to respect and understand what he's done. he didn't do anything against me. >> let's take a final break and bring in probably the most important people in your lives, your children -- or some of them. >> we don't have the whole crew
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geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. when michael was born, he was normal, active, he ran around, played football. he was just like any other child. one day, he just got sick. >> in 2008, when i was 11 years old, i was diagnosed with liver failure. >> they told me straight up, if he does not get a liver transplant, he will die. >> it was halloween and the doctor came in, a liver specialist. >> he walked in and said, i hate to sound like the grim reaper. it's raining outside and it's halloween. i have been doing this for 30
years. somebody is going to die. your son is going to get a liver. >> this guy right here, his name was johnny hernandez. he was 18 years old, and he was killed in a motorcycle accident. this family gave something to me that i needed, which was a liver from their son. i couldn't pay them back, so i feed the homeless in honor of their son, johnny hernandez. >> it was mikey's idea to feed the homeless and his vision. >> december 25th, 2008, they packed up 25 meals, put it in my mom's truck and drove around. we have fed over 4 thon people in the city of oakland. every time we feed, we promote donor awareness. >> we sign up at least 30 people at each event we have. >> it's ealey important to help your community because without you, there's no community. >> mikey is truly a young wonder.
back with what has now become the ever expanding santorum family. let me get this right, sarah has joined us, daniel, john, and elizabeth. and the reason you're at the front is apparently you're the one who talks the most. >> i'm the oldest. >> exactly. you were telling me a fantastic story about your parents and about how your father -- this may be a sign of how he perceives things like the presidency. how did he woo your moeth. >> my mom is feisty. she was mad at my dad, so he went over to where she was living and threw stones -- >> stones. >> not rocks, but then he sang to you.
>> what was he sing sng. >> i'm not going away. >> i can tell you. >> no, no. >> what do you remember? >> i was singing "the street where you live. ". >> really? >> yeah, sometimes i wonder how they ended up together. >> you're romantic. >> i love my fair lady. i could be british for that matter. >> and it clearly worked. the stone throwing and singing strategy. >> she's -- i love her spirit. she's got an amazing spirit, but she's strong. she's very strong, very feisty. and that's -- that's something that was very attractive to me, to have someone who could keep me in line. >> talk to the guys at the back there, be honest. when your dad said i'm running for president, did your hearts going, don't do that. this is going to ruin everything? >> a little bit. >> i think my sons would say
that. >> the family would be pretty awesome, busy. a little crazy. >> has it been awesome, busy, crazy? has it been a positive thing? >> yes, definitely. >> how do you feel when the old man gets attacked? >> we try not to read the news. >> the barroom brawls which you hear someone dissing santorum? >> ignore it. >> you ignore it? >> sarah, how do you feel? >> it's been busy, but it's been quite an experience. but when someone attacks my dad, i say a prayer for that person to hope for a change of heart to see what a great guy my dad is. and i just hope they see what i see, which is an amazing dad. >> she was the biggest advocate for me to run? >> so cute, our two younger boys who are not here, they said, d dad, you cannot run for president because you can't coach little league, baseball. >> he was excited to have an ice
cream maker at the house. >> i want to ask you about probably the worst time of your life. there's a reason, when your son gabrielle died and he died soon after birth. you did an extraordinary thing, one of the most courageous things i could imagine a parent in a situation doing. you took his little body home to show all of his siblings. and you had a sort of service at home. a funeral service in many ways. you got flack for this. people have criticized you for is, which i think is an offensive thing to do, none of their business, but tell me about the decision and the affect it had on you as a family. >> first of all, brigrief is a personal thing, and we do it differently. and i was a nurse for many years, and i was -- >> neo native intensive care nurse. >> i know the most important thing as a nurse when the baby
died was for the parents to hold the baby, for the siblings and family members hold the baby. we had a room just for that, and parents would be there for hours, sometimes overnight, and so we did. we held gabriel and grieved, then we brought him home. the reason we brought him home was for the mass. we had a mass, a funeral mass for him, and then a burial. and any parent would do that. >> you must remember this very keenly, i would imagine. >> i always say i'm unthinkable that my parents did that. i remember him, and i was little at the time when this all happened, but i remember seeing him, and i know that i had a brother. gabriel has a place in my life because i was able to see him and grieve for him, and he had a very real place in my heart and still does. >> and it brings closure. >> karen wrote a book about it called "letters to gabriel" and
it was so heal dprg so many people. thousands of letter, people who went through with difficult pregnancies because of it and now have little children and older children now as a result of that life that karen shared, that experience we shared. so while i'm missing, i also know that his little life and short life, thanks to his mom and her courage, touched thousands and thousands of lives. >> and what i said to say to the people who have criticized us with how we dealt with that grief, i pray that they will never know the depth of the pain and the loss of a child. >> yeah. >> i think that's very wise words. let me finish with you, karen. because it seems to me you're the trump card on all this. you should have been unleashed earlier. >> i'm all for that, by the way. >> as we reach the south carolina vote tomorrow, this is obviously a big, big night for you guys as a family. in a simple, short way, why would your husband make a good president? >> for so manyreasons. but